Blogger/PR Relationship

In blogging there are a few things we all agree on, one of those being that an important thing to do, if you want to review or work with brands, is to build a good relationship with a PR company.
I feel really lucky to be been able to build a really good relationship with a PR company since i first worked with them on my Babymule Changing Bag review back in 2012.
And now, I'm SO excited to announce that they are sponsoring me to attend Britmums Live in 2014.
That PR company are......................

To celebrate our "partnership" we thought it would be fun, and informative, to put together an interview for you to get to know BumpPR and also to get an insight into how to approach and work with a PR company.

Tell us about bumpPR

bumpPR is a PR agency specialising in parenting and family products. We work with about 40 different brands, including everything from breastpumps to tricycles. We’re a team of four girls who are super-clued up on cloth nappies, breastfeeding and creative play.  None of us have children yet, (although Lisa is getting married in June!) but we love babies. We have a great office in Soho, packed with loads and loads of baby products.

What is the best way for a blogger to approach you if they want to work together?

The best thing to do would be to send us an email, with a little introduction to you and your blog. Ideally, you’d have an idea of how you would like to work together, perhaps taken a look at our website and what clients we work for. A personal approach goes a long way for us, and it’s definitely worth putting in a few extra minutes into your email.

What is the worst way for a blogger to approach you if they want to work together?

We’re not huge fans of emails that don’t address us by name (our names are in our email addresses!) The process can just be a lot slower if a blogger doesn’t tell us much about themselves. We reply to everyone who approaches us, but it makes our job much easier if we know why you want to work with us.
We don’t approach bloggers without having a good read through their posts and about me section, so if bloggers approach us in a similar way we are always really pleased.
Oh…and also it’s always a good idea to include a link to your blog! (You’d be surprised but it does happen)

What puts you off working with a blogger?

Probably the things discussed above for someone we have not worked with before.  We’re very lucky in that we have never had a terrible review from anyone.  Things that could put us off though would be; taking a very long time to review something (and not letting us know why – we’re very understanding all it takes is an email!) or a review that was very brief and didn’t include much information or photos.

What type of bloggers do you enjoy working with?

We like to think we are a friendly bunch, so we like bloggers that are friendly too! We’ve worked with lots of different people over the years, but there are just some that really stand out. They make extra effort when replying to emails, their reviews are outstanding and they just go the extra mile.  Those are the people we work with time and time again.

We also like creative thinkers; we want people to read the reviews with interest, so anything you can do to make it visually appealing, funny or different always goes down well.

When selecting bloggers to work with, does blog design or blog photography matter to you?

It’s not everything, but it is certainly important.  First impressions make a big difference, not only to us, but to our clients. If we set up a review and are asking a client to approve a sample, we need to know they can look at a blog – and think great, that looks professional.  

Good photography is also really important for reviews.  Personal photos that show the product in use are so much better than standard cut-outs! (Although we do understand that with some products like breastpumps and nursing bras, you might have to use them!)

What is more important to you, social media presence or page views?

Good question! We are generally interested in both. We always like to know the number of unique visitors a blog has, as this gives us the best idea of how many people are reading the blog in the first place. Often, someone who has a lot of a unique visitors will have a lot of Twitter followers too, but not always.

If we are asking you to host a competition, social media probably has the edge, because it is such a quick and easy way to reach lots of people. For reviews, we’d probably say unique visitors, as you can’t really get a review into 140 characters!

What is your opinion on “blaggers” (people setting up blogs simply to get “free” things)?

Luckily, most of the bloggers we hear from have a genuine interest in working with us.  We’ve never had anyone take a product and not review it. If someone can provide a great review in return for a product, then it’s worth it for us. One thing that is obvious is that reviews take a lot of time and effort.  It’s rarely a case of something for nothing. If a blogger approached us, and we didn’t think their reviews were strong enough, then we would probably politely decline the opportunity to work together. We work with lots of brands, and some blogs are better fits than others.  

Have you had any big client/blog fails you can tell us about?

No, thank goodness! We are all quite thorough when setting up projects with bloggers. We tend to build up relationships first, and it seems to work for us. We hope that if anyone ever had a problem with a product we sent out, that they would give us the chance to resolve the problem first.

You sometimes put a call out for reviewers on Twitter, which request has had the most response? And have you ever regretted doing this because of the amount of mentions/dms/emails you then receive?

The most popular so far has probably been the smarTrike & Go. We had so many responses for that one! We didn’t regret putting out the request, because we got to meet a few new bloggers as a result. The only hard thing was writing back to those who we couldn’t choose. We always feel very mean, but we make sure we reply to everyone to say thanks.

bumpPR comes across as a fantastic company to work for, what do you each like/love best about working there?
Firstly thank you... I am passionate about making bump a fun, supportive and creative environment in which people thrive and want to work.  We certainly are a friendly bunch... But then again we work in PR... It’s our job to be lovely. It's all about balance - work hard, play hard! I'm honoured and delighted that I appear to have achieved this and so happy the people we work with pick up on a positive vibe.
The best thing is waking up each morning and knowing I am coming into a lovely, friendly office.  There is a lot of opportunity to be creative, and let’s face it who doesn’t love babies. (Not there are actually any in the office)
bumpPR is a wonderful place to work. There is a lovely atmosphere in the office; although we are all extremely busy, it is a relaxed environment where we laugh, share ideas and have fun! I think the parenting industry in general is a great industry to be in. Our clients, the journalists, bloggers we work with etc are always friendly and if it is easy to get on with each person you come into contact with in the industry, it makes work an enjoyable experience. I suppose my favourite thing is that I actually love all the products we promote. Our clients are so passionate about their products, but so are we. One thing is for certain, when it’s my turn to enter motherhood, I have a rather large wish list …
I’ve only been working at bump for 2 months, but I am loving it so far. The girls are lovely and super helpful – I really feel that they genuinely want to help me learn and develop. My job is genuinely fun and the atmosphere is light-hearted often hilarious!

If you were each to start your own blog, what would the topic be and what would your blog be called?
We talk about this in the office all the time! We are approached so often and sometimes you hear of a blog and think what a brilliant name... It can make all the difference.  I think I'd go for 'Life's a beach' I love the beach, hence the website and general brand theme. It reminds me of happy times and come rain or shine makes me smile! It's also very generic so it could grow with me! (P.S the girls later told me, this is the name of our company blog –I told you it was a good name!)
I set up a blog a few months ago, but have very much failed to keep it going. I think I managed four posts or something. It is (was?!) called doodles and dinners, and is about my two great loves – food and drawing. Since then I have even more respect for bloggers, it must take so much time to blog successfully!
Other than being obsessed with talking about food, I love watching films and programmes and I always have a book on the go too. In the office, if we are all watching the same programme, we love to have a discussion about it. We will all say what we think is going to happen next; who are favourite characters are etc. If I had a blog, I think I could talk films, programmes and books all day long. Maybe it could be called ‘Chloe’s Comments…’ If I got really good, I would perhaps be invited be premieres … hmmm…
I have a blog, which I do update sporadically (should really get on this) in an attempt to keep my family in friends in Wiltshire updated on what I’m getting up to in the big city – it’s called ‘A Slice of Life’ which began life as a blog about baking! It has an over ‘bumpkin in the city’ vibe, which is essentially what I am.

Cake is a big thing you are known for loving and tweeting about, so it would be rude to not ask what your favourite flavour is?

The girls always laugh at me but I am a creature of habit... If we're talking treats accessible to the office for me it is always a classic hummingbird cupcake with chocolate icing! If this is something I'd bake at home, or to be a little more realistic... Something jack would bake at home I would have to say a traditional Victoria sponge! At the moment I'm on a cake shortage due to the obligatory wedding diet, only 3 months to go now though and boy you should see the wedding cake!  
This is so difficult; I probably have to say a really gooey brownie. Red Velvet cupcakes are definitely a close second.
Now, that’s just a really difficult question! Working in Soho means we are surrounded by lots of irresistible treats. I would have to say my top 3 favourite have to be a Gail’s Blueberry muffin, a Ben’s milk chocolate cookie and a black bottom cupcake from the hummingbird bakery. I am hungry even thinking about it!
I’m pretty sure that liking cake was in the job description – unfortunately, it being the beginning of the year and Lisa getting married this year and Chloe on the Cambridge diet, there has been a lack of cake in this office thus far. I’m sure this is great for the waistline but I not-so-secretly hope that this changes in due course. My favourite flavour of cake is Red Velvet – thanks btw, now I want some!

To celebrate further BumpPR have offered an AMAZING prize bundle. 
The items in the bundle are:
Camouflage Skibz Bib
Red with white stars Skibz Bib
Ewan the Dream Sheep
Snoozeshade Deluxe
Drool Monkey
Cocoon Towel from The Little Green Sheep
 Want to enter? Simply fill in the Rafflecopter form below.


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